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British geospatial company provides land-motion monitoring solutions for myriad sectors

Nottingham-based GVL provides mapping and land motion solutions to a wide range of industries using its patent-pending ISBAS method

Founded in 2015, Geomatic Ventures Limited (GVL) provides geospatial, mapping and surveying solutions to a host of sectors ranging from oil and gas, mining and environment. GVL provides vital information regarding land motion and monitors precise changes in land height and landslip over large areas and long periods of time.

It is a spin-off company from the Nottingham Geospatial Institute, University of Nottingham, and is based in the university’s Innovation Park.

The company’s solutions are based on its standard Intermittent Small Baseline Subset (ISBAS) processing method which identifies and monitors precise surface ground movements as an early warning system. The University of Nottingham has applied for its patent. For ensuring cost-effectiveness, it uses data from Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and Sentinel-1 satellite constellation.

GVL’s vision is to make ISBAS InSAR products and services a viable solution for the delivery of land-motion monitoring on both a global and local scale, and deliver solutions that provide commercial benefits to end-users and environmental benefits for the wider society.

“We can survey all classes of terrain and land cover types, including vegetation, to millimeter precision where InSAR algorithms habitually struggle. We can construct surface movement history with an unrivaled point density, providing clients with new insights and assistance to uncover undetected patterns”, says Paul Bhatia, CEO, Geomatic Ventures Limited, in an interview with Geospatial World.

Paul Bhatia

How do you ensure that the density and spatial distribution of survey points are improved?

Spatial resolution of our current products is determined by the resolution of the satellite radar source data. As standard, we offer products based on the use of Sentinel-1 data which limits the resolution to 20m x 20m pixels with mm accuracy rates of vertical land-motion monitoring. Using commercial radar data from satellites such as TerraSAR-X and Cosmo-SkyMed the spatial resolution can be increased to more than 5m x 5m in some cases. Our strategy to improve and increase spatial density and resolution is to improve our processing algorithms through Deep Learning and to continue using satellite data.

Where do you think is the geospatial industry heading, and how would developments like increasing number of small satellites, easier launch options, miniaturization and proliferation of Cloud technology impact it?

This is most definitely an exciting time for the geospatial industry. With the proliferation of small Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, particularly cube-sats and fast connectivity to the cloud, there is a tremendous opportunity to launch new services that could both increase the accuracy and update time of geospatial products and services. In our case the opportunity to harness data collected from new breeds of radar satellites could lead to higher resolution ground surveys with daily updates.

Do you think Geospatial coupled with Artificial Intelligence would enable better analytics?

GVL provides vital information with respect to the rates of land-motion underpinning knowledge regarding changes in land-use as an example.  Analytics coupling geospatial with Artificial Intelligence would definitely be of great interest.  For example: Modeling future scenarios and developing risk mitigation strategies to improve environmental safety and security. This is an area that we are really interested in.

Technological convergence, seamless integration, and interoperability are some of the main trends driving innovation in the 4th Industrial revolution. What do you think of these trends apropos the GIS industry?

The availability of different data sources and the ability to integrate these data sources to obtain new insights provide enormous opportunities for the GIS industry. GIS provides the basis for increased intelligence, better visualization and understanding of datasets for informed decision making. For instance, local authorities using a combination of land-use change data, combining ground-motion data with other data-sets such as water management & land-planning, can make informed decisions and closely monitor developments over time. GIS is at the heart of this revolution.